Corona- Most kids never get to interact with an NBA player, but Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson is looking to change that for a few lucky ones. At Clarkson's Nike JC6 Basketball camp taking place from June 6th to June 9th at the Players Edge Sports Complex in Corona, California, Clarkson is working personally with campers ranging in ages from eight to 18 years old. It's something he's dreamed about doing since he realized he could play professionally.
"I didn't get the opportunity to come to camps like this when I was younger," Clarkson told Silver Screen and Roll in an interview at the camp on Tuesday. "We didn't have any NBA guys in our cities or anything like that. So it's just cool. It's something I wanted somebody else to experience that I didn't get to."
Clarkson says the ball-handling, shooting, rebounding, and defensive drills are versions of things he does himself. "It's kind of a little bit of everything," said Clarkson. "So it's a good opportunity for them to learn."
The kids at his camp aren't the only ones Clarkson has been spending time with this summer. The Los Angeles Lakers guard has also participated in Nike promotional events with children in the Philippines and China, which begged the question: is all of this preparing him for a post-playing career in coaching?
"Nah," Clarkson answered quickly, laughing. Further driving his answer home was his clothing on the day, consisting of sweats, turquoise-and-purple Nikes, and one of the shirts the players wear instead of the collared ones denoting a coach. But even if he's not quite ready to commit to being "Coach Clarkson," he is enjoying the experience this summer.
"Having the opportunity to do this, and just being around kids and trying to help them has always been something I've wanted to do, so I'm just happy I'm able to."
Judging by the smiles on most of the kids' faces, they were enjoying themselves too.
All quotes obtained firsthand. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.